The teenage son of Michael Schumacher is said to have offered a heartbreaking insight into the F1 legend’s condition.
A friend of Mick Schumacher, 19, has revealed how the stricken driver’s son “finds it hard” to cope with his father’s plight.
Michael Schumacher suffered head injuries in a devastating skiing accident in 2013, and has been bed-ridden ever since.
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And according to Nicklas Nielsen, a friend of Mick, the up-and-coming driver is “completely closed” about his dad’s health.
“Mick does not say he is sad about his father. He just said sometimes that it is hard,” Nielsen told Danish newspaper BT.
“It was completely closed and not talked about (by the Schumacher family).
“I still do a little karting with Ralf Schumacher and his team and nobody talks about it.
“It may be that Michael is on his way back and will only come out again when he is completely rehabilitated. But it’s hard to say what’s going on.”
Nielsen also opened up about how Mick is very down to earth despite his pedigree.
“I know him (Mick) very well, also privately. He is a very quiet and calm guy. He is actually like everyone else,” Nielsen said.
“Mick is a very nice and welcoming person, and he is talking to everyone.
“He is not like Max Verstappen, who does not care about anything and anyone and just wants to go ahead for himself.
“Mick has been brought up properly and is a good boy.”
Nielsen, who has competed alongside Mick, also revealed how the Schumachers treated others before the accident.
“Michael was with Mick around the tracks many times, so they were very close before the accident,” Nielsen said.
“They had a very professional approach to everything.
“Michael and Mick came in, walked around and said good morning to everyone and shook hands … They are just some nice people.”
What happened to Schumacher?
Schumacher was skiing with son Mick in the French Alps on the 29th December, 2013 when he fell and hit his head on a rock.
Doctors said he most likely would have died if not for the helmet he was wearing.
Schumacher was placed in a medically induced coma with a traumatic brain injury, before being moved to a rehabilitation ward about six months later after regaining consciousness.
He was then transferred to the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, before being moved back to his home near Lake Geneva in September 2014.
In November 2014, it was revealed that the 49-year-old was “paralysed and in a wheelchair”, and he “cannot speak and has memory problems.”
“Considering the severe head injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months,” a family statement said at the time.
“There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead.”
Will he ever recover?
Earlier in 2018, Professor Mark Oberman from the Centre for Neurology of the Asklepios Clinic offered hope.
“According to a Swedish study, between 30 and 40 percent of patients have regained consciousness within four years,” he said.
“Many can come back to life and see how their children and grandchildren grow up, what plans they have or what else happens in the family or circle of friends.”
In November 2016, family friend Ross Brawn revealed that family are still hoping they will see Schumacher “as we knew him”.
“We go see him and hope and pray that one day he will make a recovery,” he said.